CMS Will Publish Medicare Physician Payment Data Annually


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is going to publish Medicare physician payment data annually, due to negative feedback from the CMS releasing a year's worth of data in April 2014. Some critics claimed that the information that was released was incorrect and out of context.

Some flaws include the fact that the data was not adjusted for providers who have a sicker and more expensive patient population. It also seemed as if some physicians received more Medicare payments because other healthcare providers were billing under other physicians' identification codes. Consequently, the data from this report could only be used to identify those with unusual high Medicare spending patterns.

The CMS responded to its critics saying that the release was one more step towards toward reaching their goal of a transparent healthcare system. The U.S. healthcare system is majorly flawed in its accessibility to certain information. Proponents of making the system more transparent claim that easy access to information will lead to higher quality care at a lower cost. The transparency initiatives also need to be focused on how to make the data useful for the public in choosing providers.

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